I gave 50% of my 1st-year doctor's salary to charity last year. This was mostly to GiveWell-recommended and The Life You Can Save-recommended charities. The largest share went to Innovations For Poverty Action, a global development research organisation that designs and runs trials of global development interventions around the world in order to find which interventions are effective.

 

We need more global development cause discovery

The main reason I favoured Innovations For Poverty Action is my feeling that the slow rate of discovery of new effective charities is a bottleneck for effective altruism. From what I can see, GiveWell has added one charity to its top recommendations in recent years (New Incentives) while it's entirely removed its list of about 10 "standout charities". I haven't noticed many new additions to The Life You Can Save's list of recommended charities in recent years. GiveWell maxxed out the funding of its top charities last year and, while they claim they now have room for hundreds of millions more dollars, this is still a drop in the pond when compared to the total amount of philanthropy and government aid money that is spent annually worldwide. Finding further effective global development causes should be top priority, so that governments and philanthropists can be advised to direct their funds more effectively.

 

They probably know more than us

Effective altruists do a lot of independent research looking at effective ways to make the world better. This is great. An example is the recent Open Philanthropy cause exploration prize. Most effective altruism enthusiasts aren't Nobel prize-winning economists nor do they have decades of experience in global development nor do they have extensive global networks to feed them information. This all probably puts the average effective giving enthusiast at a disadvantage when it comes to seeing and seizing on global development opportunities. When it comes to effective cause discovery I think it would be difficult for anyone to outperform established global development research organisations like Innovations for Poverty Action,  The Jameel Poverty Action Lab, and the Center for Effective Global Action, each of which have established networks, experience, and track records.

 

They have a good record

Innovations for Poverty Action has conducted research showing that giving free bednets is more effective than charging for them, they conducted the research that led to Evidence Action's Dispensers for Safe Water program, they conducted the research around No Lean Season that first appeared to yield promising results but at scale was less promising (negative results are important too). They were recently involved in a promising trial of cash-transfers and cognitive behavioural therapy to reduce crime among at-risk young men in Liberia.

 

You can give to them tax-deductably in Australia

I've considered giving to The Jameel Poverty Action Lab or another global development research organisation. In Australia you can give to Innovations For Poverty Action via The Life You Can Save and the donation is tax-deductable. I don't know of a way to give to other global development research organisations tax-deductably from down here.

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4 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 4:09 AM

Thank you for donating 50% of your income Henry. You could have gone on a holiday or bought something fancy for yourself but you have chosen to help others in need instead. It's admirable.

GiveWell has identified several new giving opportunities! They're just not listed under "top charities" at the moment. See info on their aims for next year here: https://blog.givewell.org/2022/11/23/giving-recommendations-2022/

A simple yet inspiring post, much like the good work that you have wrought. Good job Henry!

I love the donation live-streams on your website!